As society moves towards a sustainable and inclusive approach, age-old institutions like marriage also take a step forward in that direction. This comes in the wake of taking recordkeeping to a digital realm. Traditionally, marriage certificates in England and Wales have included a space for the names and professions of just one parent: in most cases, the fathers of the bride and groom.
However, from May 4, 2021 onwards, couples are now allowed to add mothers’ names to their official marriage certificates. The change that’s better late than never, corrects “a historic anomaly” and is part of a larger revamp of the way marital unions are recorded across both nations, the British government said. Moving forward, marriages will now be recorded in a single electronic registry instead of in registry books.
Kevin Foster, a minister in the Home Office, said, “These changes bring the registration process into the 21st century and means no parent will be missing on their child’s wedding day.”
Rev Dr Malcolm Brown, director of mission and public affairs for the Church of England, said, “Changing practices that go back many years is never straightforward, but we believe the new system changes as little as possible in terms of the couple’s experience of their church wedding.
According to a statement by the Home Office, the new amendments are so far the biggest to the registration system since 1837, when the Marriage Act came into effect, confirming that this has been in the works for several years. In 2014, then Prime Minister, David Cameron, said the system did not reflect “modern Britain”, and vowed to make reforms.